Thanks to Ubisoft’s recent decision to end online services for a number of their older titles, players who purchased any DLC related to the effected games will soon have their ability to access the add-ons entirely revoked.
As announced by the developer earlier this month, Ubisoft will soon be “closing the online services for some older games allows us to focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles.”
“To help us achieve this, a number of older titles will be added to our list of decommissioned online services on 1 September 2022,” explained Ubisoft, before proceeding to provide a list of the effected titles and the resulting changes to their functionality.
As per the developer, as of September 1st, 2022, online services will no longer be available for Anno 2070, Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed III (2012 release), Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Driver San Francisco, Far Cry 3 (2012 release), Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Rayman Legends, Silent Hunter 5, Space Junkies, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and ZombiU.
While the main effect of this service change is that players will soon be “unable to link Ubisoft accounts in-game or use online features” in any of the listed titles, in some cases, Ubisoft also noted that, for some games, “the installation and access to downloadable content (DLC) will be unavailable.”
This warning, as given for the respective DLC offerings for the PC releases of Assassin’s Creed 3 (2012 Release), Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD, Driver San Francisco, Far Cry 3 (2012 Release), Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Silent Hunter 5.
In an interesting aside, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases of Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Ubisoft warned that after online services ended, “To play the solo campaign, you will have to set your console into offline mode.”
However, the VR title Space Junkies received the worst of it, as the developer announecd, “As a multiplayer only title, you will be unable to play the game going forward.”
It should be noted while the announcement came July 1st, the game was being sold on Steam, as per a July 3rd report by PC Gamer, for at least several days without any mention of its impending shut down being placed on its page.
This was eventually rectified on July 7th.
In addition, AC: Liberation HD’s Steam page was updated around July 11th, as per third-party Steam database monitoring website SteamDB, to state that the service change would not only render it unavailable for purchase, but outright inaccessible
“At the request of the publisher, Assassin’s Creed® Liberation HD is no longer available for sale on Steam,” reads one notice, while another states “Please note this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022.”
Contrary to Ubioft’s list, there were other PC titles that Steam revealed would be unplayable for a time. These included Anno 2070, Assassin’s Creed III, and Silent Hunter 5 with only Assassin’s Creed III playable after September 1st.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Far Cry 3, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Splinter Cell Blacklist would remain on Steam. Assassin’s Creed 2, Revelations, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and Rayman Legends will also remain, though feature no warning on their Steam page about multiplayer and DLC being discontinued at this time of writing.
Driver San Francisco appears to have already been removed, and as ZombiU was a Wii U exclusive title, it never appeared on the online PC storefront.
Despite what was stated on Steam, Ubisoft denied Steam players would lose access to their games, telling IGN, “As stated in our support article, only DLCs and online features will be affected by the upcoming decommissioning. Current owners of those games will still be able to access, play or redownload them.”
“Our teams are working with our partners to update this information across all storefronts and are also assessing all available options for players who will be impacted when these games’ online services are decommissioned on September 1st, 2022,” the developer insisted. “It has always been our intention to do everything in our power to allow those legacy titles to remain available in the best possible conditions for players, and this is what we are working towards.”
Since then, the titles that had previously stated they would be inaccessible after September 1st have had their Steam pages updated to explicitly state that “the base game will continue to be playable.” This update, again based on the titles’ history on Steam DB, appears to have been made July 11th.
While most delisted Steam games are typically still playable for those who bought them, and in some cases can even be redownloaded after being removed, it appears the upcoming service change will leave each game unable to perform its respective Digital Rights Management (DRM) licensing checks, which are used to verify the title’s purchase before launching the game via Steam.
It seems Ubisoft may have expected backlash even before changes came after wider media coverage, as their tweet announcing the news was published with its comments disabled.
This service shutdown follows Ubisoft’s similar decision this past April to end online services for 90 games, with the removal of Ubisoft Connect functionality preventing some titles’ content from being unlocked – though players who had already accessed said content were still able to access it.
Curiously, at the time, Ubisoft claimed that several titles had been taken offline in error. These included eight of the titles effected by their latest shut down, including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Far Cry 3.
What do you make of Ubisoft’s revoking of players’ access to their purchased DLC? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.